After christmas for the birds

After christmas for the birds

I have written about this book before but here it goes again! We read “The After Christmas Tree” by Linda Wagner Tyler before Christmas since my students wouldn’t be in school after Christmas. Oh well, I really like this book and thought they would get the idea either way…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

Perhaps you are one of the many who are in the process of taking down the Christmas tree and putting away all the ornaments.  Well don’t be too quick to think Christmas has to be completely over. “The After Christmas Tree” is about a child who decorates the Christmas tree by putting seeds and nuts out for the animals after Christmas has come to an end…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

After reading our book, the children made pinecone bird feeders to hang on a tree out in the woods behind our preschool…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

I realize that many of you who teach in preschool cannot use peanut butter so you will want to replace the peanut butter with something else in this process like cream cheese. We do not have any peanut allergies in my class so the children spread peanut butter all over their pinecone which was not an easy process to do without getting quite messy…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

Once the pinecones were covered with the peanut butter, the children moved to the other station to add birdseed on top of the peanut butter. And once again, you may not be able to use birdseed due to allergies but don’t let that stop you from finding an alternative idea for feeding the animals…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

I tied a string to the pinecones before the children started so that they could hang the pinecones on our trees when finished…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

There are many ways you can expand on feeding the animals besides making a birdseed pinecone like simply sprinkling nuts and berries and seeds around the bottom of a tree…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

Once we completed our pinecone bird feeders, the children went for a walk out into our woods to select a tree for hanging our birdfeeders…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

Last year, I let the children hang their birdfeeders on a tree right beside our door and the animals came and ate up! But we had so many animals come that they broke all the limbs on the little tree we had selected so this year, we took the birdfeeders out a little farther and chose bigger trees to hang them on…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool

The children did a wonderful job hanging up their bird feeders on a very cold and snowy day…

After christmas for the birds by Teach Preschool
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7 Comments

  • MIRIAM FERNANDEZ BORASO Posted December 27, 2013 3:54 pm

    Hi DEB! MERRY XMAS TO U AND ALL YOUR FAMILY! +NICE IDEA! HERE IN ARGENTINA WE ARE IN SUMMER & WE DONT HAVE PINECONES WE WILL WAIT UNTIL WINTER!
    SEASON’S GREETINGS FOR ALL YOUR FAMILY!
    LOVE & HUGS!
    MIRIAM
    ARGENTINA!

  • Kinder-Touch Posted December 28, 2013 2:11 am

    This is a good idea for introducing nature to the kids. I was wondering about the peanut at first though. It seems that the kids had fun while doing this activity.

  • Chris from VA Posted January 5, 2014 5:33 pm

    I always love seeing your photos, Deborah. Children look so cute bundled up in their cold-weather gear!

    In my class, we use vegetable shortening for this project, because we are a nut-free school. We are also really careful about the birdseed, and try to make sure it doesn’t contain nuts and wasn’t processed in a nut-processing facility.

    I love that you had the children take the feeders outdoors and hang them up! We do this project before Christmas and send it home as a Christmas gift for the animals in the children’s yards, but I love the idea of doing it after Christmas, too.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted January 5, 2014 10:48 pm

      It is always to be aware of allergies Chris. In my classroom we have no peanut allergies or really any kind of allergies so I decided we could sneak in this one peanut butter idea. However, it is good to know an alternative should I need it for future reference!

  • Mary Posted December 28, 2016 7:28 am

    Another alternative – Each feeder is made of a slice of bread, slathered with meat-based shortening, nut free bird seed added, bird ball is squished.

  • Chris Posted December 29, 2016 9:55 am

    Ooh, this looks like a great book! I will have to check it out. Love the activity. I read recently about a school that uses vegetable shortening and Cheerios to avoid peanut butter and suspect seeds.

    Before Christmas, my class read Night Tree, by Eve Bunting (https://www.amazon.com/Night-Tree-Eve-Bunting/dp/0152001212). This book is about a family that decorates an evergreen tree with edible ornaments for the animals. They use oranges, apples, popcorn strings, and seed balls, so on that day, we have clementines, apple slices and popcorn for our snack. The book starts with the family driving to a forest and walking through the dark woods, and later sitting on a blanket to admire their work. I like to bring the story alive by turning out the lights, and having the children tiptoe through the forest (with our line leader using a flashlight to light the way) as if we were the family. We spread out a plaid blanket like the one in the book for the children to sit on. And later we make Crisco-slathered, seed-studded pine cones for the children to take home (though this year, we skipped the feeder due to time constraints.)

    I think the children would love to read The After-Christmas tree, and we could use all those pine cones we’d collected and make the feeders! Thank you for the idea, and I hope I can find the book.

  • Vicki Blacken Posted December 30, 2016 1:57 pm

    Any type of shortening, suet, bacon grease or lard will work for these types of bird feeders, if you want to avoid using peanut butter. Also, if you don’t have access to cones, you can easily use toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes. They are very easy for young children to spread the suet onto, lay them in the seeds or crushed bread crumbs, and then hang out for the birds. Before they cover them, just punch holes at the top to hang the feeder and near the bottom to stick in a stick or pencil for a perch. The birds really go for these and the children can observe how this helps over-wintering birds in the yard to find food. The suet also acts as a source of energy and fat reserves during cold weather. Vicki in OR

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